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Scripps National Spelling Bee

Scripps National Spelling Bee

  • Premiered: 

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  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Special, Annual
  • Type: Live Action
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  • Subject Matter: Quiz
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Plot Synopsis

Each year since 1925 (except in 2020 because of COVID-19), the SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE, which is now held annually in Washington D.C., features top spellers from across the United States and includes competitors from Europe, Guam, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, American Samoa, Canada and New Zealand. The Bee, the nation's largest and longest running educational promotion, is administered on a not-for-profit basis by Scripps and hundreds of local sponsors, with the majority of local spelling bee sponsors being daily and weekly newspapers. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve spelling, increase vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all of their lives. From 1994 through 2005, ESPN televised the final rounds of the bee in their entirety. From 2006 through 2010, the finals aired on ABC primetime, and then moved to ESPN primetime from 2011 onwards.
Marking its 27th year televising this event, ESPN presented 15 hours of live coverage of the 2021 competition. The 93rd Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee features spellers ranging in age from 9 to 15. Because of ongoing COVID-19 healt restrictions, the early rounds are held virtually while the finals will be held July 8 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Virtual preliminaries and quarterfinals were broadcast by ESPN3 on June 12 and 15, followed by the semifinals on ESPN2 on Sunday, June 27, 2021 from 7-10pm ET/4-7pm PT. Then, the 10 to 12 finalists will travel to Orlando for the finals on July 8, which are televised from 8-10pm ET/5-7pm PT. The multiple choice Play Along channel returns on ESPNU for its seventh year for the semifinals and finals, offering fans a one-in-four chance to pick the correct spelling of the given word, allowing fans to compete along with the spellers.

Kevin Negandhi returns to host the Scripps National Spelling Bee when ESPN2 airs the semifinals (June 27) and finals (July 8) live. Negandhi is joined by: Paul Loeffler, a finalist in 1990, who is the expert analyst for a 15th year; and Jen Lada, who serves as an interviewer and reporter.


Other Titles

  • Previously known as Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee

Firsts, Lasts & Notable Notes

  • June 1, 2006: First time the National Spelling Bee is broadcast on primetime TV.